DR. MARTIN LUTHER KING JNR MORETTI'S CONTRIBUTION 

TRANSCRIBED FROM AUDIO: I HAVE A DREAM SPEECH

                                              

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was a man born on January 15, 1929 in Atlanta, Georgia.  He was a Baptist minister and political activist who was the most famous leader of the American civil rights movement. He won the Nobel Peace Prize and Presidential Medal of Freedom before being assassinated in 1968. For his promotion of non-violence and racial equality, he is considered a peacemaker by many people around the world. Martin Luther King Day was made in his honor. He graduated from Morehouse College with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Sociology in 1948. At Morehouse, he was mentored by President Benjamin Mays, a civil rights leader. Later he graduated from Crozer Theological Seminary in Chester, Pensylvania with a Bachelor of Divinity degree in 1951. He received his P.HD. in Systematic Theology from Boston University in 1955. He was assassinated on April 4, 1968, at 6:01 PM, on the balcony of the Lorraine Motel in Memphis Tennessee, while preparing to lead a local march in support of the heavily black Memphis sanitation workers' union which was on strike at the time. Friends inside the motel room heard the shot fired and ran to the balcony to find King shot in the throat. He was pronounced dead at St. Joseph's hospital at 7:05 PM . The assassination led to a nationwide wave of riots in more than 60 cities. Four days later, President LYNDON JOHNSON declared a national day of mourning for the lost civil rights leader. A crowd of 300,000 attended his funeral that same day.

                                            

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                        Text version below transcribed directly from audio.

I am happy to join with you today in what will go down in history as the greatest demonstration for freedom in the history of our nation.

Five score years ago, a great American, in whose symbolic shadow we stand today, signed the Emancipation Proclamation. This momentous decree came as a great beacon light of hope to millions of Negro slaves who had been seared in the flames of withering injustice. It came as a joyous daybreak to end the long night of their captivity.

But one hundred years later, the Negro still is not free. One hundred years later, the life of the Negro is still sadly crippled by the manacles of segregation and the chains of discrimination. One hundred years later, the Negro lives on a lonely island of poverty in the midst of a vast ocean of material prosperity. One hundred years later, the Negro is still languished in the corners of American society and finds himself an exile in his own land. And so we've come here today to dramatize a shameful condition.

In a sense we've come to our nation's capital to cash a check. When the architects of our republic wrote the magnificent words of the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence, they were signing a promissory note to which every American was to fall heir. This note was a promise that all men, yes, black men as well as white men, would be guaranteed the "unalienable Rights" of "Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness." It is obvious today that America has defaulted on this promissory note, insofar as her citizens of color are concerned. Instead of honoring this sacred obligation, America has given the Negro people a bad check, a check which has come back marked "insufficient funds."

But we refuse to believe that the bank of justice is bankrupt. We refuse to believe that there are insufficient funds in the great vaults of opportunity of this nation. And so, we've come to cash this check, a check that will give us upon demand the riches of freedom and the security of justice.

We have also come to this hallowed spot to remind America of the fierce urgency of Now. This is no time to engage in the luxury of cooling off or to take the tranquilizing drug of gradualism. Now is the time to make real the promises of democracy. Now is the time to rise from the dark and desolate valley of segregation to the sunlit path of racial justice. Now is the time to lift our nation from the quicksands of racial injustice to the solid rock of brotherhood. Now is the time to make justice a reality for all of God's children.

It would be fatal for the nation to overlook the urgency of the moment. This sweltering summer of the Negro's legitimate discontent will not pass until there is an invigorating autumn of freedom and equality. Nineteen sixty-three is not an end, but a beginning. And those who hope that the Negro needed to blow off steam and will now be content will have a rude awakening if the nation returns to business as usual. And there will be neither rest nor tranquility in America until the Negro is granted his citizenship rights. The whirlwinds of revolt will continue to shake the foundations of our nation until the bright day of justice emerges.

But there is something that I must say to my people, who stand on the warm threshold which leads into the palace of justice: In the process of gaining our rightful place, we must not be guilty of wrongful deeds. Let us not seek to satisfy our thirst for freedom by drinking from the cup of bitterness and hatred. We must forever conduct our struggle on the high plane of dignity and discipline. We must not allow our creative protest to degenerate into physical violence. Again and again, we must rise to the majestic heights of meeting physical force with soul force.

The marvelous new militancy which has engulfed the Negro community must not lead us to a distrust of all white people, for many of our white brothers, as evidenced by their presence here today, have come to realize that their destiny is tied up with our destiny. And they have come to realize that their freedom is inextricably bound to our freedom.

We cannot walk alone.

And as we walk, we must make the pledge that we shall always march ahead.

We cannot turn back.

There are those who are asking the devotees of civil rights, "When will you be satisfied?" We can never be satisfied as long as the Negro is the victim of the unspeakable horrors of police brutality. We can never be satisfied as long as our bodies, heavy with the fatigue of travel, cannot gain lodging in the motels of the highways and the hotels of the cities. We cannot be satisfied as long as the negro's basic mobility is from a smaller ghetto to a larger one. We can never be satisfied as long as our children are stripped of their self-hood and robbed of their dignity by a sign stating: "For Whites Only." We cannot be satisfied as long as a Negro in Mississippi cannot vote and a Negro in New York believes he has nothing for which to vote. No, no, we are not satisfied, and we will not be satisfied until "justice rolls down like waters, and righteousness like a mighty stream."

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I am not unmindful that some of you have come here out of great trials and tribulations. Some of you have come fresh from narrow jail cells. And some of you have come from areas where your quest -- quest for freedom left you battered by the storms of persecution and staggered by the winds of police brutality. You have been the veterans of creative suffering. Continue to work with the faith that unearned suffering is redemptive. Go back to Mississippi, go back to Alabama, go back to South Carolina, go back to Georgia, go back to Louisiana, go back to the slums and ghettos of our northern cities, knowing that somehow this situation can and will be changed.

Let us not wallow in the valley of despair, I say to you today, my friends.

And so even though we face the difficulties of today and tomorrow, I still have a dream. It is a dream deeply rooted in the American dream.

I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal."

I have a dream that one day on the red hills of Georgia, the sons of former slaves and the sons of former slave owners will be able to sit down together at the table of brotherhood.

I have a dream that one day even the state of Mississippi, a state sweltering with the heat of injustice, sweltering with the heat of oppression, will be transformed into an oasis of freedom and justice.

I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.

I have a dream today!

I have a dream that one day, down in Alabama, with its vicious racists, with its governor having his lips dripping with the words of "interposition" and "nullification" -- one day right there in Alabama little black boys and black girls will be able to join hands with little white boys and white girls as sisters and brothers.

I have a dream today!

I have a dream that one day every valley shall be exalted, and every hill and mountain shall be made low, the rough places will be made plain, and the crooked places will be made straight; "and the glory of the Lord shall be revealed and all flesh shall see it together."

This is our hope, and this is the faith that I go back to the South with.

With this faith, we will be able to hew out of the mountain of despair a stone of hope. With this faith, we will be able to transform the jangling discords of our nation into a beautiful symphony of brotherhood. With this faith, we will be able to work together, to pray together, to struggle together, to go to jail together, to stand up for freedom together, knowing that we will be free one day.

And this will be the day -- this will be the day when all of God's children will be able to sing with new meaning:

My country 'tis of thee, sweet land of liberty, of thee I sing.

Land where my fathers died, land of the Pilgrim's pride,

From every mountainside, let freedom ring!

And if America is to be a great nation, this must become true.

                And so let freedom ring from the prodigious hilltops of New Hampshire.

                Let freedom ring from the mighty mountains of New York.

                Let freedom ring from the heightening Alleghenies of
                Pennsylvania.

                Let freedom ring from the snow-capped Rockies of Colorado.

                Let freedom ring from the curvaceous slopes of California.

                But not only that:

                Let freedom ring from Stone Mountain of Georgia.

                Let freedom ring from Lookout Mountain of Tennessee.

                Let freedom ring from every hill and molehill of Mississippi.

From every mountainside, let freedom ring.

And when this happens, when we allow freedom ring, when we let it ring from every village and every hamlet, from every state and every city, we will be able to speed up that day when all of God's children, black men and white men, Jews and Gentiles, Protestants and Catholics, will be able to join hands and sing in the words of the old Negro spiritual:

                Free at last! Free at last!

                Thank God Almighty, we are free at last!

                            

                      THE WASHINGTON MARCH     

MARTIN LUTHER KING JNR.
A genuine leader is not a searcher for consensus but a molder of consensus. 
A lie cannot live.
A man can't ride your back unless it's bent.
A man who won't die for something is not fit to live.
A nation or civilization that continues to produce soft-minded men purchases its own spiritual death on the installment plan.
A nation that continues year after year to spend more money on military defense than on programs of social uplift is approaching spiritual doom. !!!!!!!! 
A right delayed is a right denied.
A riot is at bottom the language of the unheard.
A riot is the language of the unheard.
All labor that uplifts humanity has dignity and importance and should be undertaken with painstaking excellence.
All progress is precarious, and the solution of one problem brings us face to face with another problem.
Almost always, the creative dedicated minority has made the world better.
An individual has not started living until he can rise above the narrow confines of his individualistic concerns to the broader concerns of all humanity. 
An individual who breaks a law that conscience tells him is unjust, and who willingly accepts the penalty of imprisonment in order to arouse the conscience of the community over its injustice, is in reality expressing the highest respect for the law. 
At the center of non-violence stands the principle of love. 
Change does not roll in on the wheels of inevitability, but comes through continuous struggle. And so we must straighten our backs and work for our freedom. A man can't ride you unless your back is bent.
Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.
Discrimination is a hellhound that gnaws at Negroes in every waking moment of their lives to remind them that the lie of their inferiority is accepted as truth in the society dominating them.
Every man must decide whether he will walk in the light of creative altruism or in the darkness of destructive selfishness.
Everything that we see is a shadow cast by that which we do not see. 
Faith is taking the first step even when you don't see the whole staircase.
Freedom is never voluntarily given by the oppressor; it must be demanded by the oppressed.
Have we not come to such an impasse in the modern world that we must love our enemies - or else? The chain reaction of evil - hate begetting hate, wars producing more wars - must be broken, or else we shall be plunged into the dark abyss of annihilation.
He who passively accepts evil is as much involved in it as he who helps to perpetrate it. He who accepts evil without protesting against it is really cooperating with it. 
History will have to record that the greatest tragedy of this period of social transition was not the strident clamor of the bad people, but the appalling silence of the good people.
Human progress is neither automatic nor inevitable... Every step toward the goal of justice requires sacrifice, suffering, and struggle; the tireless exertions and passionate concern of dedicated individuals.
Human salvation lies in the hands of the creatively maladjusted. 
I am not interested in power for power's sake, but I'm interested in power that is moral, that is right and that is good.
I believe that unarmed truth and unconditional love will have the final word in reality. This is why right, temporarily defeated, is stronger than evil triumphant.
I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character.
I have a dream that one day every valley shall be exalted, every hill and mountain shall be made low, the rough places will be made straight and the glory of the Lord shall be revealed and all flesh shall see it together. 
I have a dream that one day on the red hills of Georgia the sons of former slaves and the sons of former slave owners will be able to sit down together at the table of brotherhood. 
I have a dream that one day on the red hills of Georgia, the sons of former slaves and the sons of former slave owners will be able to sit together at the table of brotherhood.
I have decided to stick with love. Hate is too great a burden to bear.
I just want to do God's will. And he's allowed me to go to the mountain. And I've looked over, and I've seen the promised land! I may not get there with you, but I want you to know tonight that we as a people will get to the promised land! 
I look to a day when people will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character.

                       AMEN TO ALL OF THE ABOVE.........MORETTI

 
                          

                              
                           
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